With every season of the hit reality show The Amazing Race I turn another shade greener with envy. It looks like so much fun, doesn’t it? Hopping on planes to exotic locales. Experiencing incredible cultural and natural landscapes. And oh yeah, the prospect of winning a million bucks.
So why haven’t I applied to be a contestant when clearly my interests coincide nicely with the wanderlust theme promoted in the show? It’s not a lack of desire. Rather, there are some well-thought-out reasons why I haven’t thrown my traveling hat in the ring…yet
1) It’s Hard To Keep Your Integrity in a Fish Bowl
With the prize of a million dollars looming beyond the last finish line, people can be, well, corrupted. Who wouldn’t be tempted to sell out for a chance at that jackpot? For instance, what if you could get a slight advantage that could possibly make all the difference by telling a little lie, or being dishonest? Most would for a million bucks—even if their dishonesty is going to be broadcast on national TV. As for me, I’d rather not put myself into a situation that might lead me to compromise who I am, because I am just as susceptible to challenging my moral compass as anyone else. And if I did fall short, I’d rather not have the world witness it. I mean, my mother would be watching…
2) If I Went With My Wife, I’d Come Across As A Jerk
There’s no one I’d rather travel the world with than my wife—in fact I already have. Besides still being gorgeous at (insert undisclosed age here), she is generous, kind, patient and basically a better person than I am in almost every category. I say almost because she does have a minor flaw that on The Amazing Race could prove to be fatal. For some inexplicable reason that only a theoretical physicist might be able to comprehend, when I park the car it takes her between 10 and 120 minutes to exit the vehicle. I’ll be about to enter a building and she will not have even gotten her car door open. She’s mentioned something about bags and makeup and other explanations but I’ve done the math—it does not compute. So here’s the scenario I’d foresee taking place:
1) Our taxi screeches to a halt as I leap out, ready to sprint to the finish line ahead of the last team.
2) My wife slips into whatever vortex in the time-space continuum it is that prevents her from leaving the vehicle.
3) Hailey’s Comet passes for the third time.
4) I return to the taxi, yelling for her to get her butt in gear.
5) My wife looks the part of the innocent victim while I come across as the big mean jerk.
There’s just too much truth in that scenario for me to risk playing it out to a national audience. And for the record I’m not a big mean jerk. Well, most of the time…
3) I’m Not Hungry or Interesting Enough
Let’s face it. TV producers have to give the audience a compelling reason to watch. That’s why teams with tragic back stories of sick family members or aspiring dreams are natural choices from the contestant pool. Next you have your unique-relationships that would bring in viewers rooting for unlikely combinations. And lastly you have your weirdos and/or obnoxious jerks that nobody likes but everybody loves to hate. Sadly, I don’t squarely fall into any of those categories. I don’t need a million dollars to get by or even fulfill my dreams. My relationships are rather straightforward and not marked by a lot of conflict or drama. An argument can be made that I can be both a weirdo and obnoxious jerk at times, but not to the extent to move others to root against me. Sure I‘ve got my sense of humor, good looks, and abundant humility, but somehow I feel that I even if I did apply, I probably wouldn’t make the cut.
Maybe these are lame excuses, but they’re valid enough to me to prevent me from applying. I’ve done my share of globetrotting without the pressure of racing other teams, double U-turns, and eating weird foods, and found it to be plenty enjoyable. And if I never get the chance to appear on the race for the reasons listed above, I think I can live with that. After all, the worst that can happen is I turn a little greener.
Have you ever wanted to be a contestant on The Amazing Race but held back from doing so? Tell me why by leaving a comment!